German Gambling Subject to Changes as New Licenses Awarded

The State Treaty on Gambling was introduced on July 1, 2021, making it possible for online casino and sportsbook operators to secure licenses in Germany.

This means that domestic providers and international brands like LeoVegas are soon to be licensed according to this site. The change to the law means that sports fans will soon be able to access a wide range of betting, slot, and casino games opportunities online.

What does this mean for online gambling in various states?

Although the State Treaty on Gambling has been introduced on a national level, it’s still a state decision to permit online gambling. This makes it possible for individual states to prohibit or allow online gambling as they see fit.

For example, in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), a law has been introduced which permits and regulates roulette, blackjack, and baccarat but online poker and slots are not covered. Any operators that are successful in their application will gain a license that permits operation for 10 years.

How is sports betting affected?

The sports betting market in Germany existed prior to the introduction of the State Treaty on Gambling. It experienced growth of 4% between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the fourth quarter of 2021. Around 60% of this sports betting market exists online. This is in line with other sports betting markets in Europe such as the UK where 65% of the market is online and Denmark where 67% of the market is online.

This does not mean that sports betting in Germany will not be affected by last year’s treaty. Certain aspects of the treaty refer specifically to sports betting online such as:

  • Betting on irregular behaviour of a player or athlete is prohibited. For example, this means that fans of the Bundesliga cannot bet on a player receiving a red card.

  • Live bets are allowed if they relate to the final result of a match. Bets on goals scored are only allowed for sports where few goals are scored such as football and hockey.

  • Advertising for sports betting is permitted when a tournament is happening but there is a whistle-to-whistle ban.

It’s clear there are some restrictions that fans of football and other sports need to take into account if they are considering placing a wager on a player, team, or event.

It’s also worth noting that the sports betting industry faces a potential threat from the opening of the online gambling market to include casinos and slots games. In states where licenses are awarded for wider online gambling this has the potential to reduce sports betting revenue if people decide to spend their money elsewhere.

The online slots and poker market has made a positive start but it’s too soon to see if this has a negative impact on sports betting revenue. It’s possible that the opposite will happen and opening the market will increase revenue all round. Only time will tell what the results of the State Treaty on Gambling are.

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